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China's Pension System Working Well

Xinhua, 28 May 2002

BEIJING, [July] 28 (Xinhua) -- The granting of pensions to retired workers and basic allowances to laid-off workers is going on smoothly, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security announced Friday.

Up to 99.9 percent of laid-off workers in re-employment centers have been granted basic allowances, said Liu Yongfu, spokesman of the ministry.

A total of 50.33 billion yuan (6.09 billion U.S. dollars) in pension funds have been paid out to retired workers from enterprises covered by the country's endowment insurance system, China Daily reported Saturday.

Data show that there were a total of 6.32 million laid-off workers from state-owned enterprises by the end of June, 91.6 percent of whom had registered in re-employment centers.

However, by the second quater of this year labor authorities in 11 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions had paid retired workers roughly 47.9 million yuan (5.79 million U.S. dollars) that they had previously failed to distribute.

In northeast China's Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces, east China's Anhui Province and south China's Hainan Province, about 170,000 retired workers did not get their pensions on time.

Officials of the ministry warned that the chances of laid-off workers finding re-employment might deteriorate.

In the first half of this year, 790,000 laid-off workers, or 11. 1 percent of the total, had succeeded in finding new jobs. The proportion was 4.9 percentage points less than for the same period of last year.

With an unemployed population of 6.18 million, China's present unemployment rate is 3.2 percent, 0.1 percentage point more than for the first half of last year.